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      Crystella Ski Hill to reopen

      Some welcome news for skiers in the Crystal Falls area. In a unanimous vote, the city voted to reopen the Crystella Ski Hill Monday night after being closed for two years due to budget cuts.

      "The city found itself in a difficult situation with the general fund--we were nearly 400,000 to the negative...the city could not afford to run the ski hill," says Dorothea Olson, Crystal Falls City Manager.

      But now the Crystella Recreation Association is bringing the hill back to life in time for the coming ski season. They say the city's been declining over the years, and it'll give kids things to do during the long winter months.

      "Snowboarding, skiing, an ice rink, tubing, sledding, community events, birthday parties and all sorts of activities," says Katelyn Way of Crystella Recreation Association.

      But getting the go-ahead to reopen didn't come easy.

      "Coming together as a community and making this a big effort was not the challenge; it was the red tape we had to go through to make it happen," Way adds.

      "This was quite an undertaking because there were concerns about insurance and payroll. Once we got those ironed out, it was a no brainer," says David Sherby of the Crystal Falls City Council.

      Crystella is set to reopen by the end of December, and it's thanks to the thousands of dollars and labor that were donated to renovate the old lodge and get the hill up and running.

      The group has already raised $4,000, but they need your help in reaching their $10,000 goal.

      Donations can be sent to The Crystella Project, PO Box 84, Crystal Falls, MI 49920.